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Healthy life expectancy analysis using nematodes

C-HAS can use superposed periodic (before and after) images to distinguish between living, dead, or alive inactive nematodes.Credit: Associate Professor Shuto Tsuyoshi

A research group at Kumamoto University (Japan) has developed an automatic measurement system for assessing healthy lifespan using nematodes (C. elegance). The system can classify populations of nematodes that are, on average, healthy, long-lived, healthy, prematurely dying, and long-term unhealthy, based on qualitative differences in lifespan.Because there are many similarities between the mechanisms that determine the lifespan of C. elegance Researchers believe that this system will facilitate the development of drugs and the discovery of foods that will extend the healthy lifespan of humans.


The concept of “healthy life expectancy” was proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2000 and is an important indicator of population health. This is life expectancy minus the length of life that depends on continuous medical care or long-term care. However, there is no clear scientific understanding of what constitutes a healthy lifespan of laboratory animals and cells. Furthermore, the technology to objectively and quickly analyze the factors that affect healthy life expectancy has not yet been established.

Despite being a very simple animal C. elegance Organs such as nerves, skeletal muscle, and gastrointestinal tract are differentiated, and many genes related to mammalian animals are conserved. It is very useful for cutting-edge research such as genetics and molecular biology. However, while this nematode lifespan analysis provides a lot of useful information, previous lifespan studies have included 1) sensitivity to various stimuli at room temperature, 2) long experimental time required for daily measurements. 3) There were many restrictions such as lack of objectivity. Since the results tend to depend on the experimental method, 4) the number of samples that can be processed at one time is small, which is not suitable for measuring a large number of samples at the same time.

Healthy life expectancy analysis using nematodes

Above: A mini-population analysis of healthy life expectancy of C. elegans using a combination of C. elegans statistical analysis with the same genetic background as C-HAS. About 28% of the population had an average lifespan, about 30% had a long and healthy lifespan, about 35% were healthy but died early, and about 7% were long-term frail.Credit: Associate Professor Shuto Tsuyoshi

Researchers have sought to solve these problems by developing a new healthy life expectancy assessment system that maintains the benefits offered by nematodes. They set optimal conditions for live cell imaging systems to automatically measure nematode survival, including the number of nematodes in the sample, culture temperature, medium thickness, feeding conditions, imaging intervals, and survival determination methods. Focused on making decisions.this is C. elegance The Automatic Lifespan Monitoring System (C-LAS) is a fully automated lifespan measurement system that can measure large numbers of samples (currently up to 36 samples) non-invasively. C-LAS uses overlapping images of worms to distinguish between moving (living) worms and non-moving (dead) worms.

Next, observe using C-LAS C. elegance, Researchers have found that C. elegans can be classified into one of three possible behavioral states: active (living), inactive alive, or inactive (dead).They defined the period of active behavior as “healthy lifespan” and established a new system they call. C. elegance Healthspan automatic monitoring system (C-HAS). Like C-LAS, C-HAS is an automated health and longevity measurement system that allows you to distinguish between live and dead nematodes by overlaying periodic images. It is also possible to detect that a nematode is in an inactive living state (alive but unhealthy) if the nematodes only partially overlap between images. C-HAS allows researchers to use these parameters for minipopulation analysis. This type of analysis allows nematodes with the same genetic background to be divided into four groups. Life expectancy nematodes, healthy and long-lived nematodes, unhealthy and premature death nematodes, and long-term nematodes. Frailty.

Researchers performed a mini-population analysis of healthy life expectancy of C. elegans using a combination of common C. elegans statistical analyzes with the same genetic background as C-HAS. About 28% of the population had an average lifespan, about 30% had a long and healthy lifespan, about 35% had a healthy lifespan but died early, and about 7% I discovered that I was weak for a long time. They also activate AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is closely associated with healthy life expectancy, either genetically or through the administration of the drug metformin, which dramatically increases the healthy life expectancy population for a long period of time. We have found that the frail population of Japan is declining. Metformin is thought to extend healthy life expectancy in humans, and this study supports this idea. Clinical trials are currently underway to confirm its association with healthy longevity.

“It may be a little surprising to see nematodes used to measure healthy life expectancy, but we have already used C-HAS to create new, previously unknown healthy life expectancy-related new things. We have identified the gene, “said research leader Takeshi Shuto. “This technology makes it easy to search for genes, drugs, and foods related to healthy life expectancy in humans with speed and accuracy not available in laboratory animals. C-HAS will discover drugs in the future. We are currently working on the development of C-HAS-AI, which incorporates deep learning into C-HAS and enhances automatic analysis. ”


Longevity, not health


For more information:
Intrapopulation analysis of longitudinal life expectancy of Caenorhabditis elegans by Yoshio Nakano et al. Identified W09D 10.4 as a new AMPK-related healthy life expectancy shortening factor. Journal of Pharmacological Sciences (2020). DOI: 10.1016 / j.jphs.2020.12.004

Provided by Kumamoto University

Quote: Healthy life expectancy analysis using nematodes (January 27, 2021) January 27, 2021 Obtained from https://phys.org/news/2021-01-healthy-lifespan-analysis-nematodes.html

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